171King David was now living in his palace. One day he sent for the prophet Nathan and said to him, “Here I am living in a house built of cedar, but the LORD's Covenant Box is kept in a tent!”
2Nathan answered, “Do whatever you have in mind, because God is with you.”
3But that night God said to Nathan, 4“Go and tell my servant David that I say to him, ‘You are not the one to build a temple for me to live in. 5From the time I rescued the people of Israel from Egypt until now, I have never lived in a temple; I have always lived in tents and moved from place to place. 6In all my travelling with the people of Israel I never asked any of the leaders that I appointed why they had not built me a temple made of cedar.’
7“So tell my servant David that I, the LORD Almighty, say to him, ‘I took you from looking after sheep in the fields and made you the ruler of my people Israel. 8I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have defeated all your enemies as you advanced. I will make you as famous as the greatest leaders in the world. 9-10I have chosen a place for my people Israel and have settled them there, where they will live without being oppressed any more. Ever since they entered this land they have been attacked by violent people, but this will not happen again. I promise to defeat all your enemies and to give you descendants. 11When you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will make one of your sons king and will keep his kingdom strong. 12He will be the one to build a temple for me, and I will make sure that his dynasty continues for ever. 13
I will be his father and he will be my son. I will not withdraw my support from him as I did from Saul, whom I removed so that you could be king. 14I will put him in charge of my people and my kingdom for ever. His dynasty will never end.’ ”
15Nathan told David everything that God had revealed to him.
16Then King David went into the Tent of the LORD's presence, sat down, and prayed, “I am not worthy of what you have already done for me, LORD God, nor is my family. 17Yet now you are doing even more; you have made promises about my descendants in the years to come, and you, LORD God, are already treating me like a great man.17.17 Probable text and you, LORD God… man; Hebrew unclear. 18What more can I say to you! You know me well, and yet you honour me, your servant. 19It was your will and purpose to do this for me and to show me my future greatness. 20LORD, there is none like you; we have always known that you alone are God. 21There is no other nation on earth like Israel, whom you rescued from slavery to make them your own people. The great and wonderful things you did for them spread your fame throughout the world. You rescued your people from Egypt and drove out other nations as your people advanced. 22You have made Israel your own people for ever, and you, LORD, have become their God.
23“And now, O LORD, fulfil for all time the promise you made about me and my descendants, and do what you said you would. 24Your fame will be great, and people will for ever say, ‘The LORD Almighty is God over Israel.’ And you will preserve my dynasty for all time. 25I have the courage to pray this prayer to you, my God, because you have revealed all this to me, your servant, and have told me that you will make my descendants kings. 26You, LORD, are God, and you have made this wonderful promise to me. 27I ask you to bless my descendants so that they will continue to enjoy your favour. You, LORD, have blessed them, and your blessing will rest on them for ever.”
181Some time later King David attacked the Philistines again and defeated them. He took out of their control the city of Gath and its surrounding villages. 2He also defeated the Moabites, who became his subjects and paid taxes to him.
3Next, David attacked King Hadadezer of the Syrian state of Zobah, near the territory of Hamath, because Hadadezer was trying to gain control of the territory by the upper Euphrates. 4David captured a thousand of his chariots, 7,000 horsemen, and 20,000 foot soldiers. He kept enough horses for a hundred chariots and crippled all the rest.
5When the Syrians of Damascus sent an army to help King Hadadezer, David attacked it and killed 22,000 men. 6Then he set up military camps in their territory, and they became his subjects and paid taxes to him. The LORD made David victorious everywhere. 7David captured the gold shields carried by Hadadezer's officials and took them to Jerusalem. 8
He also took a great quantity of bronze from Tibhath and Kun, cities ruled by Hadadezer. (Solomon later used this bronze to make the tank, the columns, and the bronze utensils for the Temple.)
9King Toi of Hamath heard that David had defeated Hadadezer's entire army. 10So he sent his son Joram to greet King David and congratulate him for his victory over Hadadezer, against whom Toi had fought many times. Joram brought David presents made of gold, silver, and bronze. 11King David dedicated them for use in worship, along with the silver and gold he took from the nations he conquered — Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek.
Abishai, whose mother was Zeruiah, defeated the Edomites in the Valley of Salt and killed 18,000 of them. 13He set up military camps throughout Edom, and the people there became King David's subjects. The LORD made David victorious everywhere.
14David ruled over all Israel and made sure that his people were always treated fairly and justly. 15Abishai's brother Joab was commander of the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was in charge of the records; 16Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah18.16 Probable text (see 2 Sam 8.17) Seraiah; Hebrew Shavsha. was court secretary; 17Benaiah son of Jehoiada was in charge of David's bodyguard; and King David's sons held high positions in his service.
191Some time later King Nahash of Ammon died, and his son Hanun became king. 2King David said, “I must show loyal friendship to Hanun, as his father Nahash did to me.” So David sent messengers to express his sympathy.
When they arrived in Ammon and called on King Hanun, 3the Ammonite leaders said to the king, “Do you think that it is in your father's honour that David has sent these men to express sympathy to you? Of course not! He has sent them here as spies to explore the land, so that he can conquer it!”
4Hanun seized David's messengers, shaved off their beards, cut off their clothes at the hips, and sent them away. 5They were too ashamed to return home. When David heard what had happened, he sent word for them to stay in Jericho and not return until their beards had grown again.
6King Hanun and the Ammonites realized that they had made David their enemy, so they paid 34 tonnes of silver to hire chariots and charioteers from Upper Mesopotamia and from the Syrian states of Maacah and Zobah. 7The 32,000 chariots they hired and the army of the king of Maacah came and camped near Medeba. The Ammonites too came out from all their cities and got ready to fight.
8When David heard what was happening, he sent out Joab and the whole army. 9The Ammonites marched out and took up their position at the entrance to Rabbah, their capital city, and the kings who had come to help took up their position in the open countryside.
10Joab saw that the enemy troops would attack him in front and from the rear, so he chose the best of Israel's soldiers and put them in position facing the Syrians. 11He placed the rest of his troops under the command of his brother Abishai, who put them in position facing the Ammonites. 12Joab said to him, “If you see that the Syrians are defeating me, come and help me, and if the Ammonites are defeating you, I will go and help you. 13Be strong and courageous! Let's fight hard for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the LORD's will be done.”
14Joab and his men advanced to attack, and the Syrians fled. 15When the Ammonites saw the Syrians running away, they fled from Abishai and retreated into the city. Then Joab went back to Jerusalem.
16The Syrians realized that they had been defeated by the Israelites, so they brought troops from the Syrian states on the east side of the River Euphrates and placed them under the command of Shobach, commander of the army of King Hadadezer of Zobah. 17When David heard of it, he gathered the Israelite troops, crossed the Jordan, and put them in position facing the Syrians. The fighting began, 18and the Israelites drove the Syrian army back. David and his men killed 7,000 Syrian chariot drivers and 40,000 foot soldiers. They also killed the Syrian commander, Shobach. 19When the kings who were subject to Hadadezer realized that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and became his subjects. The Syrians were never again willing to help the Ammonites.